THE MING DYNASTY THE WORLD OF THE YONGLE EMPEROR Mark

Document Sample
THE MING DYNASTY THE WORLD OF THE YONGLE EMPEROR Mark Powered By Docstoc
					THE MING DYNASTY:
THE WORLD OF THE YONGLE EMPEROR
 Mark It on the Map
 Have students locate Asia and China on a map. Ask            Vocabulary
 them to estimate the percentage of land area present-day     eunuch        kraakporselain
 China occupies in Asia and to determine whether China        monsoon       prunus vases
 is the largest, second largest, smallest, etc. country in    tribute       dugouts
 Asia. Then have them turn to page 12 and add the labels      junks         doubloons
 “north,” “south,” “east,” and “west” to the map. As they     vermillion    archaeologists
 read the issue, have them turn to the map to locate          necropolis    magnetometer
 each site.                                                   pavilion      ballast
                                                              porcelain
 Introduction
 Ask if any students have ever seen or heard the word “Ming,” in a textbook, museum, or
 Chinese tale. Explain about Ming porcelain, or if possible, bring a color picture of Ming
 porcelain to class, as well as a picture of today’s imitation of Ming porcelain—common
 everyday china. Use this introduction as a springboard to speak of historical periods
 during which people have time to concentrate their efforts on cultural affairs.

 Questions for Discussion
 ¯ Who founded the Ming dynasty? Why did he name it “Ming”? What name did he choose
 for himself? Why?
 ¯ What policies did Hongwu implement after he drove out the Mongols and took control of
 China?
 ¯ Who was Empress Ma, and how did she influence Hongwu and government policy?
 ¯ Why was Zhu Di not in line to follow his father as emperor?
 ¯ What orders did the emperor Zhu Yuanzhang leave in an effort to avoid a civil war after
 his death? Did they work? Why or why not?
 ¯ What does “Yongle” mean?
 ¯ What are “treasure ships”? Why did Zhu Di send them to Southeast Asia and the Indian
 Ocean?
 ¯ What Chinese goods did Zheng He carry in his treasure ships? What trade goods did he
 bring back to China?
 ¯ The processional route to Zhu Di’s tomb is lined with huge stone statues. What reasons
 do historians suggest for their presence there? Ask students to name another ancient
 civilization that also believed in lining the way to a ruler’s tomb. (Egypt)
 ¯ What do the artifacts found buried in the tombs of the Ming emperors tell us about
 afterlife beliefs at the time?
 ¯ What factors led to the fall of the Ming dynasty?
 ¯ What was the market for Ming blue-and-white porcelain?
 ¯ When at a site, underwater or on land, what is the most important rule? (No collecting
 allowed.) Why?
 ¯ What information have archaeologists gathered from the Emmanuel Point shipwreck?

 Writing Workout
 Students may complete one or more of the following activities:
 ¯ Read the Chinese saying on page 2 to the class. Then have each student make a list of
 five instances that illustrate the truth of this saying. Ask them to be very specific with
 their examples.
                                                                                              1
    ¯ If you became a Chinese emperor, what name would you take? Why?
    ¯ What incident caused Zhu Di to make changes in his government policies, including the
    suspension of treasure ships? Why?
    ¯ What does the Ming China policy of contrasting sweet and sour, hot and cold, plain and
    spicy reveal about the Chinese of the time?
    ¯ What is the message or moral of the tale “Money Problems” on pages 23–25.
    ¯ Have students write to “The National Conference” for information about sites in their
    area. Also, keep a scrapbook for them to cut out news articles about shipwreck finds
    around the world.

    Think About It
    Students may complete one or more of the following activities:
    ¯ Read about the many laws Hongwu passed to establish and build a strong central
    government. Take each law and discuss with the class the probable reasons for Hongwu’s
    implementing such a measure.
    ¯ Why do you think the legend of the Jianwen emperor began? Do you think there is any
    factual basis to the legend? Why?
    ¯ What are the advantages of water travel? Why did Zhu Di consider it important and
    assign thousands of workers to revitalize the Grand Canal?
    ¯ Do fast-food restaurants follow the Ming China practice of serving steamed foods with
    stir-fried or crunchy textures with those that melt in your mouth? Think of what you could
    add to meals you have eaten at fast-food places that would achieve a balance of tastes.
    Would it be easy to implement your suggestions? Would it improve the meals?
    ¯ Why is the restoration of historical monuments such as the Forbidden Palace and the
    Ming imperial tombs important?
    ¯ Why do you think the Ming general Wu Sangui feared the rebel leader Li Zicheng more
    than he did the Manchu from beyond China’s borders?
    ¯ Why is underwater archaeology important? If you had a chance to join an exploration
    team, what location or site would you choose? Why?

    Viewpoints
    Students may complete one or more of the following activities:
    ¯ Allow the class 10 minutes to consider their feelings concerning Zhu Di’s decision not to
    allow people to enter his new palace in Beijing, and then list two to three reasons why they
    agree or disagree with the order. Divide the board into two columns, labeling one “Agree”
    and the other “Disagree.” List the students’ reasons in the proper column. Analyze the
    results with the class.
    ¯ Ask each student to consider the merits of building huge palaces and huge tomb
    complexes, such as those commissioned by Zhu Di. Do such complexes serve any purpose
    other than to reflect the power and wealth of the ruler who commissioned them?
    ¯ Throughout history, many leaders have risen to positions of great power and have made
    provisions for their children to follow them. Yet, no family has remained in power forever.
    The descendants of Zhu Di learned this fact some 200 years after his death. What do you
    think are the chief factors that contribute to a nation’s decline?

    Debate
    Present the following statement to the class: “Hongwu’s decision not to allow people to
    change occupations without special permission should be considered by the United States.”
    Divide the class into two teams. Let one team argue for such a proposal and the other
    argue against it. Give the teams 10 minutes to prepare their opening statements and

2
arguments. After these presentations, allow the teams five minutes to prepare a rebuttal.
After the rebuttals, lead a class discussion on the topic.

Then and Now
Students may complete one or more of the following activities:
¯ Zhu Di saw his treasure ships as diplomatic “envoys.” What types of diplomatic “envoys”
does the United States have? Give specific reasons for listing each “envoy.”
¯ Zhu Di recognized the importance of the Grand Canal. In more recent times, other arti-
ficially created waterways have been created. Ask students if they can name at least one.
(Panama Canal and the Suez Canal). Bring books to class that focus on canals and artifi-
cial irrigation projects, such as dams, around the world. With the class, spend a few
moments comparing and contrasting the reasons for building and the effectiveness of Zhu
Di’s projects and those of today.
¯ Have students make a list of all the foods a Ming emperor might be served (see pages
20–21). Ask them to place a checkmark next to each of those they have personally tasted, a
circle next to those they have seen or heard about but have not tasted, and a line through
those they have never seen or heard about, or they know are unavailable. Count the check-
marks, the circles, and the lines. Let them discuss their conclusions.
¯ Bring illustrations of Ming blue-and-white porcelain to class, as well as catalogs and sale
circulars advertising household goods. Distribute them to the students. Have them look for
imitations of Ming blue-and-white porcelain. Then have students look at illustrations of
ancient Ming porcelain. Ask them to try to match modern imitations with ancient designs.
Display as many “matches” as they find around the room.

Words With a Past
Students may complete one or both of the following activities:
¯ Have students turn to pages 36 and 37. Let them read about each word and expression.
Then ask them to write three well-thought-out sentences: Each sentence must include two
or three of the words or expressions found in “Fun With Words.”
¯ Bring several types of magazines to class and distribute them among the students.
Have students search the magazines for images that could be used to illustrate the history
of each word or expression found on pages 36–37.

Research Projects
Students may complete one or both of the following activities:
¯ Have a group of students research monsoons, what times of the year they arrive, where
they occur, and how they affect life in the area, especially boat life. Let them present this
information to the class. Then have the class discuss how monsoon season would have
affected Zheng He’s treasure ships. Follow-up: Keep a lookout for news items about
monsoon season, or monsoon-related events, and bring them to class.
¯ Have students research the significance of the “dragon throne.”

Get Into Art
Students may complete one or more of the following activities:
¯ Read about the Jianwen emperor on pages 8–11. Then read “The Legend of the Jianwen
Emperor” on page 11. Illustrate the life of Jianwen, using titles to describe each illustra-
tion, or create a dialogue format.
¯ Use the description of Zhu Di’s new capital on pages 18–19 to make a diagram of the
city. Label each section and the buildings within each section.



                                                                                                3
    ¯ Bring to class books with colored illustrations of Ming blue-and-white porcelain. Read to
    the class the section titled “The Potter’s Craft” on pages 34–35. Divide the class into six
    groups, and assign each group one of the tasks mentioned, including designing the title
    and lead-in explanation. Have the students use the description of vase designs on page 35
    as models for their own designs. Make a collage of the designs and display in the room.
    ¯ Bring to class books that include illustrations of Delft pottery, and books with artwork
    by Dutch painters of the 1500s through 1800s. Have students use the descriptions of Ming
    porcelain on page 35 to find images of pottery (that artists incorporated into their paint-
    ings) that resemble the Ming blue-and-white porcelain.
    Making Math Work for You
    Have students look at the illustration on page 15 of a treasure ship in relation to Christo-
    pher Columbus’ boat. Have them draw a treasure ship to scale (1 inch = so many feet) on a
    large piece of paper. Have students use the same scale and draw their favorite vehicle on
    another piece of paper. Then have them figure out how many of their favorite vehicles they
    would need, one in front of the other, to equal the length of Zheng He’s treasure ship.
    Play Time
    Read out loud “Money Problems” on pages 23–25. Divide the class into groups. Assign one
    group to rework the story into a play, with narrator parts. Assign another group to make
    costumes for all the characters. Assign another group to make props. Assign a fourth
    group to make signs announcing the date, time, and location of the play, and also of taking
    care of seating arrangements the day of the play.

    Just for Fun
    Students may complete one or more of the following activities:
    ¯ Have students make a list of various objects in the classroom (or as a home assignment, of
    objects in their bedroom, kitchen, etc.). Then have them identify where each was made and
    write the point of origin next to each object. How many countries are represented?
    ¯ Prepare “birthday noodles” for a relative or close friend, or for your teacher. Follow the
    directions on page 22.
    ¯ Read the activity about “Using Lifting Bags” with the class. Set aside a reasonable block of
    time and try the experiment. Follow-up: Ask students about which types of artifacts would be
    best served by using “lifting bags.” Which types of artifacts would not be served well?

    Follow These Footsteps
    Hongwu
    Empress Ma
    Zhu Di
    Jianwen emperor
    Zheng He
    Chen Boshi
    Roger C. Smith




4